Fly Clapping

It’s summer in the Midwest.  That’s means it’s fly season, indoors and outdoors, and any Midwesterner that wants to be freed from fly-blown annoyance must assemble their fly-swatting arsenal and prepare, at any moment, to do battle with the pesky creatures that are constantly buzzing around.

common-house-flyThe other day the B.A. Jersey Girl and I were talking in the firm library when a housefly landed on a nearby notepad.  It was a big, ugly, hairy, disgusting granddaddy fly that probably had been buzzing around the office for months, getting fat on whatever leavings he found.  By landing where he did, in full view of humans, he was basically taunting us.  You could almost see his alien, compound eyes brimming with arrogance as he rubbed his forelegs together with undisguised glee.

The B.A.J.G. rolled up a document to ready herself for swatting.  But I have seen too many such swatting attempts prove unsuccessful, so I waved her off and positioned my hands about a foot above the fly, with a hand to each side and the fly roughly in the middle.  As I quickly clapped my hands together, the fly flew straight up — as flies typically do — and met his doom in the midst of the clap.  The formerly overconfident fly fell to the paper below and was swept into the wastebasket — the appropriate fate of all household flies.

The B.A.J.G. had never seen the fly-clapping technique used before, but it is a time-honored Webner method for sending flies to their ultimate reward.  In my experience, it works a lot better than fly swatters, or rolled up newspapers, or other techniques.  And, you get the satisfaction of knowing that the last thing the fly feels is a handclap — as if you are celebrating its demise, which you really are.

Feel free to use the fly-clapping when you just can’t take any more of the loathsome creatures buzzing around your house.  Clap on!

Big Fly

Autumn is flu shot season, and football season, and allergy season.  It is also — regrettably — big fly season.

IMG_4980We try to keep our doors shut during the summer months.  But somehow, some way, crafty houseflies get inside.  And then, usually, we don’t see them for a while.  They flit around at night, doing whatever vile things flies do.  They also must consume some kind of special housefly growth tonic, because by the time fall comes you’re being dive-bombed by houseflies the size of golf balls that buzz like chainsaws.  You hear the distinctive buzz and out of the corner of your eye you see that large, hairy black object flying straight at you and you duck and swat at the repulsive creatures.

Why does autumn seem to infuse flies with such recklessness?  Are they simply feeling indestructible because they have grown to brobdingnagian proportions.  Or, as I suspect, do they realize that the end is near, and they might as well take one shot at annoying the humans they’ve been avoiding for weeks?  When you’re huge, why not live large?

Because we all know how the story ends — with gigantic, granddaddy flies dead as doornails, curled up on the floor or on the windowsill above the kitchen sink, to be retrieved with a tissue and a feeling of utter disgust and tossed in the trash or the toilet.  It’s a meek ending for a big fly.